Don’t sabotage your job interview. It’s hard enough to get an interview. If you are blessed with the opportunity, you want to make the most of it.
As Will Smith’s character says in the beginning of the movie Hitch about being on a date, “That means she said yes when she could have said no. That means she made a plan when she could have just blown you off. So that means it’s no longer your job to make her like you. It’s your job not to mess it up.”
Do the following nine things and you increase your chances of landing this job:
Before the interview:
- Do your research – Know as much about the company as is available in the public domain. Read the entire website. Don’t ask questions that could be answered by skimming the website.
- Dress according to the company’s culture – The first impression of how you look can make or break the interview. If you know someone at the company, ask him/her how you should dress. Your appearance should conform to the company’s culture. When in doubt, overdress!
- Be prepared – If you were requested to bring a completed application, make sure it is unfolded and complete. I know of an interviewee who arrived with a coffee-stained application and that tainted the interviewer’s impression of that candidate.
- Be on time – Nothing can ruin an interview like showing up late. Arrive in the office five to 10 minutes early. Show up earlier than that but don’t go into the building more than 10 minutes early.
- Talk to the receptionist – Especially if you are interviewing for a “people-oriented” position, show your people skills by chatting up the receptionist. Be friendly. Show you can communicate with anyone.
During the interview:
- Ask questions – If you don’t ask any questions, the interviewer will believe you don’t want the job. Show initiative and interest!
- Let the interviewer talk – The person who talks the most in a conversation feels the best about that conversation. Participate in the discussion, of course, but try to get the interviewer to talk more than you.
After the interview:
- Write a thank you note – A hand-written note (not an email) sent the day of the interview will show you appreciate the opportunity.
- Follow-up – The interviewer likely told you he/she would contact you within a certain number of days. One or two days after that deadline, call (don’t email) your contact at the company. Don’t be too overzealous and call before the given deadline.
What other interview tips do you have? Post a comment so everyone can benefit.